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REAL BREXIT – First Instance Effects

Yesterday, Monday 20th November 2017, the EU 27 European affairs ministers took the decision to move two European agencies from London after Brexit giving the first physical sign of the effects of the UK leaving the European Union.

The European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority, both currently operate from Canary Warf will be relocated to Amsterdam and Paris respectively.

These two organizations employ 1,050 between them and are highly regarded regulatory bodies their significant roles are outlined below.

 The European Medicines Agency

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) protects and promotes human and animal health by evaluating and monitoring medicines within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

What it does

The Agency’s main responsibilities are authorising and monitoring medicines in the EU. Companies apply to it for a single marketing authorisation, which is issued by the European Commission. If granted, this enables them to market the medicine concerned throughout the EU and the EEA.

It is perceived to be one of the EU’s most important agencies and is a central hub with over 36,000 scientists and regulators visiting each year.

The European Banking Authority

The EBA is the EU agency tasked with implementing a standard set of rules to regulate and supervise banking across all EU countries. Its aim is to create an efficient, transparent and stable single market in EU banking products.

What it does

  • Provides input into the creation of a single, standard set of rules for EU banking – the Single Rulebook.
  • Provides centralised disclosure of supervisory data on EU banks (to increase transparency, market discipline and financial stability across the EU).
  • Promotes cooperation between national authorities on supervising banking groups that operate in more than 1 country, and mediates disputes involving more than 1 country.
  • Promotes a transparent, simple and fair EU market for consumers of financial products and services, and ensures all consumers are treated fairly and protected across the EU.

The European Banking Authority was established after the 2008 financial crash to strengthen financial oversight in the financial sector.

The EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, told a Brussels conference:

“The 27 will continue to deepen the work of those agencies, together. They will share the costs for running those agencies. Our businesses will benefit from their expertise. All of their work is firmly based on the EU treaties which the UK decided to leave.”

He made it clear that the UK could not expect to remain in some EU agencies once it left the EU. He said the freedom to leave the EU also implied a freedom and responsibility to build its own administrative capacity.

That the UK must leave these agencies altogether raises some serious issues about the future relationship between the UK and the EU in these areas. It also begs the question as to how far the UK is in making preparation to “go it alone” in these matters?



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